When you think of Indian food, does the medley of scents captivate your senses, or does the memory of homemade curry, rich with spices, awaken your appetite? The mere thought of classic Indian cuisine can make your mouth water. Unsurprisingly, the diversity and myriad cooking styles, along with regional specialties, continually tantalize food enthusiasts, leaving them yearning for more. But at the heart of these vibrant cuisines lie the spices, each adding its unique flavor and aroma. These spices aren’t just culinary assets; they’re cultural signatures, embodying centuries of tradition and storytelling, bringing together communities, and turning each dish into a celebration of heritage and flavors.
India is known as ‘The Land Of Spices.’ You may be surprised that India is the World’s largest producer and exporter of spices. Yes, we Indians are not satisfied with a dash of salt and pepper; we need lots of SPICES, Always! Despite being one of the largest countries in the World with a huge population and cultural diversity, the place easily captures the best of classic tastes that interest people from every corner of the World. It is possible only with the subtle and complex use of myriad spices. The presence of our homegrown, authentic and natural spices like clove, turmeric and green cardamom makes dishes unique and delicious. Other than being aromatic and flavorsome, spices have potential health benefits. In this post, you will learn about Indian spices and their benefits.
Manage blood sugar level
Considering poor diets and the sedentary lifestyle that people follow nowadays, diabetes has become a severe health concern. Any unexpected surge in blood sugar has the potential to be disastrous. Other than a nutritional diet, some spices added to your everyday foods may aid in controlling blood sugar levels. Research suggests that spices like turmeric have an active compound called curcumin that decreases blood glucose levels. Other such spices include cloves, garlic and cinnamon. If you haven’t packed your kitchen cabinet with these spices yet, you’d better head over to the neighbourhood grocery shop immediately!
Some numerous vitamins and minerals are crucial for human health and are found in pure Indian spice masala. For instance, iron, essential for forming haemoglobin in the blood, is found in spices like cumin seeds, turmeric and tamarind. Due to its high potassium content, it is crucial for controlling blood pressure. Indian spices also include a lot of dietary fibre, which is essential for the health of the digestive system. Last but not least, it has antioxidants that can help shield the body from disease.
Reduce the risk of heart disease
There are several spices that, when consumed every day, can support heart health. They enrich the diet with antioxidants and other bioactive substances at affordable prices. Many spices are said to have medicinal effects even in the traditional Indian medical systems of Ayurveda and South Indian “Siddha.” They also possess qualities like anti-atherosclerotic, anti-thrombotic, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, etc. Due to its antioxidants, adding masala to your diet can help prevent diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and other diseases.
Another benefit of using Natural spices grown on farms of Indian origin is that it’s completely safe for consumption. As we know, spices contain substances that have effects on your body. Well, these effects are mostly positive as the nutritional compounds form most of the structure of masalas. So, using them in your food is entirely safe. You don’t have to worry about dangerous ingredients when you prepare healthy meals at home because they are free of them. Knowing what is in your cuisine is another advantage of using pure Indian masala. Some people prefer growing spices at home as spices like turmeric, chillies, ginger, coriander, mustard etc., are easy to grow. Even if you use store-bought versions, make sure that they are FSSAI-approved.
Tips to use
Following are some recommendations for utilising Indian spice masala:
- 1. Typically three common ways to use spices in the food are — frying in oil and pound, dry-roast and grinding and using the whole form in the ‘Tadka’.
- 2. Add a level of heat to your food with chilli peppers.
- 3. You can add additional ingredients like green elaichi for varied flavours in your traditional desserts, like puddings, Gulab Jamun, and Gajar ka halwa.
- 4. Foods like curry taste richer and spicier when spices like asafoetida, dried chillies, and curry leaves are added.
- 5. You can use spices in whole and ground form; both enrich the food with flavours and aromas.
- 6. As mentioned above, these spices have health benefits, so they are often used for medicinal purposes. Turmeric milk is consumed to reduce inflammation and aid digestion.
- 7. Add spices like cumin, cloves, cinnamon, and black cardamom in your soups, stews and rice preparations like biryani.
- 8. Garnish Indian curries and meat preparations with a selection of spices.
Spices are an essential part of Indian cooking. They hold an essence to convert any basic dish into a memorable recipe, forming the base of any dish. But most importantly, these are used for their potential health benefits. If you aren’t using these powerful ingredients in your food, it may be time to reconsider your ingredients list.